INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making investments in watershed infrastructure to help communities recover from and prepare for natural disasters.
USDA is investing $265 million through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 28 Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) infrastructure projects in 16 states impacted by extreme weather events. These projects include streambank stabilization, flood prevention and watershed restoration projects, and are part of the $925 million investment through the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act. This includes one EWP project in Indiana.
“Natural disasters are unavoidable and NRCS is focused on helping flood prone communities prepare and recover from extreme weather events that can leave communities in a state of emergency,” said David Doctorian, acting state conservationist in Indiana. “This investment through the Emergency Watershed Protection program will help communities with recovery efforts following natural disaster events while preventing further devastation to those communities.”
EWP offers vital recovery options for local communities to help reduce hazards to life and property caused by floodwaters, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, windstorms and other natural disasters.
The EWP projects funded in Indiana will assist communities in Jefferson and Switzerland counties where flash flooding washed out roadways and caused severe erosion and debris along embankments, roads and bridges. These EWP funds will be used for debris removal at roads and bridges and to stabilize stream banks adjacent to multiple roads making travel safer for local county residents.
A full list of fiscal year 2023 projects is available here. EWP projects are funded in response to a local community requesting assistance following a natural disaster.
NRCS encourages communities to engage with their local project sponsors, participate in developing a sound conservation plan that serves to protect and preserve local watersheds and connect with their local NRCS office to learn more about Emergency Watershed Program assistance.
NRCS will continue to review additional requests and compile another round of watershed funding as funds are available. Fact sheets, trainings and other resources are available at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/.
For more information, please contact State Conservation Engineer, Mike Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service